FA Cup preview: Plymouth Argyle v Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 20:31 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 21:28 09 November 2018

Stevenage FC First Team Manager Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage FC First Team Manager Dino Maamria. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Stevenage travel to Home Park Plymouth Argyle on Saturday to take on Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the FA Cup. Read on for Layth Yousif’s preview of the clash.

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria before the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Crewe Alexandra at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOManager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria before the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Crewe Alexandra at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage boss Dino Maamria is expecting a tough challenge as he gears his side up to make the long trip to the south west to face Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

With a cool £36,000 in prize money awaiting the winners of the clash as the reward for progressing, the stakes are high – and the charismatic Boro manager wants a cup run not only in a bid to boost coffers but also for the glory.

Speaking to CometSport at Kingsmeadow after his side were eliminated from the Checkatrade Trophy following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of AFC Wimbledon, the 46-year-old Tunisian spoke glowingly about the world’s oldest kock-out tournament.

He said: “The FA Cup is what Stevenage is about. The Newcastle games 20 years ago are part of our folklore and we want to make more history.

Manager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria before the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Crewe Alexandra at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOOManager of Stevenage FC Dino Maamria before the League Two game between Stevenage FC v Crewe Alexandra at the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage, Hertfordshire. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We are expecting a tough match. It’s a very long away game – six-and-a-half hours on the coach. It seems we have spent a lot of time this season travelling to the south west with games at Forest Green, Yeovil, Exeter and now Plymouth in the cup.

“But we will be working hard to prepare and I want us to go as far as we can in this competition.

“The draw is the draw. Sometimes you get lucky and get a home tie. To get Plymouth, 300 miles away is a bit unfortunate.

“I have never done as much travelling in my life these last three months. It is another long journey but we have prepared right for it we are looking forward to it.

“They have a good manager and very good players, I know their team pretty well.

“Their front four are fantastic at that level. They won promotion a couple of years ago, they play good football, they have big home support. They have had a couple of big results lately. It is going to be a tough game but we have got to give it our best.”

One tournament Boro will not be advancing in is the unloved Checkatrade after their loss in midweek.

Stevenage needed a win to go through to the last 32, but the Dons’ Kwesi Appiah put the League One side ahead with a lobbed finish only 20 seconds into the game.

Anthony Wordsworth’s deflected strike doubled the home side’s lead on the half-hour mark and the second half saw a freak header from Tyler Garratt loop into the net for 3-0.

Alfie Egan curled home a spectacular shot late on to knock Boro out and Maamria reflected wryly on the poor start, saying with tongue firmly in check: “We kicked-off well but it was downhill fromt there.”

Maamria took some positives from the display, though, which saw the talented Arthur Iontton shine with a range of silky left-footed passes after coming on as substitute.

He added: “The range of passing Arthur showed was good. He looked impressive, which bodes well for the future. 
“He still has a lot to learn but I was impressed by his passing when he came on.”

Ticket details below:

Adults: £14

Season Ticket Holder Adults: £10

Concessions: £10

Season Ticket Holder Concessions: £7

Serving Armed Forces: £5

U18s: £1

*See CometSport online for our extensive coverage of the FA Cup tie at Plymouth, including Layth Yousif’s report from Home Park.

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